This month's edition of The Grapevine is going to take a bit of a detour from our regular format. Though I'd love to introduce you to a new author (and I will next month!), something in my personal life should be addressed before we go back to business as normal. You see, the rabbit died. Don't know what that means? Your grandma would! For those of use who aren't familiar with that 1927 lab test, maybe this will help... the stick turned pink, I'm exhausted and nauseous, and that sweet, teeny one in the ultrasound photos is a squirmy little thing.
Yup, the Baarts hope to be a party of five by July. I won't lie, it's been a rough road so far. I inject myself with Lovenox (a blood thinner) daily, take extra folic acid and progesterone, and have seen my perinatologist every two weeks since that first positive pregnancy test. But I'm firmly entrenched in my second trimester, and so far everything seems to be going good. With a history of four miscarriages behind me, I'm stunned by the level of peace that I feel... But I truly do believe that whether I hold a baby this summer or whether God sees fit to take her home, His plan for my life is even better than my wildest dreams. For now, we're going to hope and pray those plans include a healthy pregnancy and a baby this summer. I covet your prayers...
Anyway, I thought it would be appropriate this month to talk about children's books. We have an extensive, and much-beloved library, and I'm looking forward to sharing some of my favorites with you. In response, I'd love to hear about some of your favorite children's books! I have babies on the brain, and I'm a firm believer in reading to them from a very young age. In-utero, in fact. ;) In addition to sharing some of my favorite kids' authors, I'll be giving away one of my books. It's a grab-bag, you won't know what you're going to get until you receive it in the mail, but I will try to tailor the choice for the age group you request. So, enjoy my pics, and don't forget to bless me with a few of your own!
Sandra Boynton is definitely one of our favorite children's authors. Her books are witty, silly, and so much fun to read. They're geared more for the younger set, but my kindergartner likes to "read" them to his brother. (He mostly memorizes the cadence of the words and fills in gibberish when he can't remember how it goes!) The best of the best, in our humble opinion, are: Barnyard Dance, The Bellybutton Book, and The Sleep Book.
Robert Munsch rocks. I can't help believing that this Canadian author is still a six-year-old at heart, because he so obviously possesses the mind and soul of a child. His stories are outlandish and fun, and every one is based on a child that he knew or met at one time or another. A classic Munsch in our home is Aaron's Hair because it's all about a boy who has wild hair. If you've seen my husband (Aaron) and his (wild and crazy) hair, you'll know why we love this book. Other great choices are: Alligator Baby, Playhouse, and Just One Goal.
Laura Numeroff stole our hearts with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. My kids adore watching the consequences unfold, and sometimes enjoy applying the same sort of logic to their own lives. "If you give me a slice of pizza, I'm going to want a glass of juice to go with it..." We own many of these books, and though they follow the same pattern, they never seem to get old. If You Give a Pig a Pancake is our top pick because we take pancakes very seriously at the Baart house. Mmmmm... pancakes.
No childhood library would be complete without a big collection of Dr. Suess. When I was a little girl, my two favorites were McElligot's Pool and The Sleep Book--two lesser-known books that are so charming and sweet I could get choked-up just thinking about them... Okay, that could be the hormones. All the same, if you haven't read those books, run, don't walk, to your nearest library and track them down. You're missing out. We also adore If I Ran the Zoo and Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Though my kids are only six and three, we are big chapter book fans. Even my little one will happily sit through several chapters of a picture-less book. But the stories have to be quick, entertaining, and full of adventure. We're currently hooked on The Boxcar Children. Tell me you're familiar with the Boxcar kids... If not, get thee to a library! Though these books might be considered old-fashioned by some, I love the exciting, kid-friendly storyline and the way that these kids rejoice in the little things in life. The whole series is a blast, but the first book is unparalleled.
Your turn! Tell me about some of your favorite kids' books. And don't forget to leave a comment to enter yourself in the drawing...